Sun, Entertainment & Destinations Package ($3,255 -- includes tilt-slide power sunroof; Chevrolet MyLink radio with navigation, AM/FM stereo and CD player, five USB ports, one SD card slot and Aux jack, 12 months of Sirius/XM with NavTraffic real-time traffic updates; rear seat DVD player with remote control, 8-inch overhead display, two sets of wireless infrared headphones and auxiliary audio/video input jacks on rear of center console), Max Trailering Package ($500 -- includes 3.42 rear axle ratio; trailer brake controller; two-speed active transfer case), Theft-Deterrent Package ($395 -- includes self-powered horn; onterior movement and vehicle inclination sensors; door lock shields; glass break sensors in rear quarter glass and liftgate window), Sun, Entertainment and Destinations Package Discount (-$500)
Naturally aspirated, direct-injected V8 with cylinder deactivation
Pushrod, two valves per cylinder, variable intake and exhaust-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
355 @ 5,600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
383 @ 4,100
Six-speed automatic and column shifter with tow/haul mode switch and manual shift buttons on shift lever
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
Wow, big lag (or lazy throttle tip-in) from a stop. Generous pedal overlap and switching to Auto 4WD reduced 0-60 time by more than a half-second. Gearing is just right for this engine (at wide-open throttle) because what doesn't feel like a very quick SUV in everyday driving proves darned quick at the drag strip.
The first stop was excellent, slowing the large SUV with ease. But then each stop thereafter gobbled up a bunch more real estate, AND the rear of the truck bucked and struggled to maintain contact. Plus, the brake pedal grew more and more spongy and ineffective. Combine all that with brake pad odor, and this is not exactly what we'd call confidence-inspiring.
Slalom: Not nearly as athletic as a large unibody SUV, but this full-framed Tahoe shows remarkable composure here. Steering effort is on the light side, but not numb in the least and offers good precision, too. With traction control disabled, the electronic stability control (ESC) allows quite a bit of motion before trimming the heading with brakes. Going hard on the throttle (with Auto 4WD) puts ESC to rest, although it's still lingering in the background a little. With all electronic aids enabled, the ESC gets far more involved, taking the throttle away much earlier and going hard on the brakes and slowing the vehicle by as much as 10 mph. Tippy toe on that threshold, however, and it will almost allow the same speed through the cones. Skid pad: Yep, big 'ol howlin' tarz. It felt like we were punishing the Tahoe with this test, but there's more grip and less lean here than expected. Steering didn't feel as good here as it did in the slalom -- numb and springy.